By Mark Saldana

Rating: 2.5 (Out of 4 Stars)

As someone who liked the first film, I had no idea if the filmmakers could actually pull off the rare feat of making a superior sequel, or at least could make a movie that is just as good as the first installment. Considering that actor John Cusack chose not to reprise his role from the first film didn’t really add to my hopes, but I still acknowledged the fact that there is still enough comedic talent returning to still make this work. The addition of Adam Scott did offer some relief, but there was still a small pessimist in me nagging my mind. Hot Tub Time Machine 2.turned out to be another fun movie, but one that doesn’t work quite as well as the first.

Following the events of the first film, Lou (Rob Corddry) and Nick (Craig Robinson) had altered their present so much that each had been reinvented as huge successes. Lou uses his knowledge of the future to become the father of the internet among other technological advances. Craig becomes a huge music star by stealing songs from the future. When an unknown assassin attempts to kill Rob, Jacob (Clark Duke), Nick and Lou use their beloved hot tub to stop the assassination. However, instead of traveling to the past, they end up ten years in the future.

Writer Josh Heald and director Steve return for the next chapter if comedic hot tub time travel, but this installment just doesn’t quite match the lovable nostalgia of the first movie and doesn’t have the same lovable themes. On the other hand, the movie does offer a good share of laughs and some witty jabs at futuristic movies. Still, the use of slightly convoluted time lines and questionable causes and effects over complicate what should a rather straightforward and enjoyable journey in absurdity. It actually has that in common with Back to the Future 2 and if that was intentional, the filmmakers should have known better. Back to the Future 2 has its fun moments, but

It is great to see the returning cast reprise their roles and they all perform competently and comfortably. Adam Scott is a welcome addition to the cast and has some enjoyable comedic moments. Still, the absence of Cusack is a bit awkward and he is certainly missed. He makes for an amiable voice of reason that the other wilder characters need. In fact, I just might be on board with a Hot Tub Time Machine 3 if he can be convinced to return.

Still, as much as I do like this sequel, that fact is hat it takes a step backward (so to speak) from the first movie, I’m afraid any attempts at any sequels will ultimately disappoint. Then again, Back to the Future 3 did manage to save that trilogy. Hopefully Heald and Pink plan to do that if they decide to continue this franchise. Hot Tub Time Machine is naughty fun but the type of fun better enjoyed on TV.


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